Advertising on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is becoming more and more popular. A recent Pivot Survey showed that two thirds of marketers surveyed are using social media advertising. This will only continue to grow as more and more people join the ranks of social media users, and companies catch on to the highly targeted and effective nature of this medium.
Often called social advertising, this method (based on a very old approach) takes advantage of the growing number of people using social networks (700m on Facebook, 100m+ on LinkedIn, etc) to advertise to people in a highly targeted way – usually according to their likes, geographic demographics and other defining characteristics. It can be a really useful tool to drive traffic to your website, and especially to build your connections because each follower or connection has given you their implied permission to keep in touch, and are genuinely interested in what you have to offer.
Here at Out-Smarts we always emphasize the importance of strategy when it comes to any social media or internet marketing project, and social ads are no exception. First of all, you need to consider your audience. Who are they and which networks do they use. This will help you determine whether to use Facebook, LinkedIn or another network. Next, you need to consider your goals and how you will measure success.
We were approached recently by a client of ours who had (as an experiment) run simultaneous ads on Facebook and on LinkedIn. The ads were almost identical but whilst the Facebook ad had a phenomenal click through rate, there was not a single click through on LinkedIn. They wondered why this had happened, and how the could track whether the Facebook ads converted to actual business for them.
There are two issues here, the first being the target audience. The reason they were more successful on Facebook is that their target audience is much more likely to be on Facebook, and using it on a regular basis, than LinkedIn. When you are considering which social advertising forum to use, it is always important to consider which tools your audience uses – doing so will help you cut to the chase and will make the likelihood of success higher. If your product or service is aimed at a consumer or broader target audience, then Facebook is going to be better than LinkedIn. If your product or service is business-to-business then LinkedIn will be the way to go. If you have a large brand aimed at the mom community, Twitter might be your best bet.
The second issue is how to track the success of your ads. It is important to consider what your goals are from running the ads (do you want to build your following, drive traffic to your website, etc, and by how much?) and then put processes in place that allow you to do this effectively. If web traffic is your goal, Google Analytics allows you to track conversions from your Facebook ads (but that is a whole other blog post!). If you want to track sales, put processes in place to ask people who buy from you, or who inquire about your products or services, how they heard about you. What is important here is to set realistic goals and outline how you will track them, otherwise why bother?
Once you have determined which tools are best for your audience and how you will measure your success, the process of creating your ads is relatively simple. In the coming weeks we will be creating some how-to posts designed to help you do just that. In the meantime, if you are interested in advertising using social media but don’t have the time or wherewithal to do so, please contact us – this is what we do and we’d love to help!
Other posts about online advertising:
The Future of Digital Advertising – iAds and Promoted Tweets